What Are Hot Flashes?

A hot flash is a sudden feeling of great heat, accompanied by a very flushed and often sweating face and/or body. Your hot flash may be accompanied by or followed by having a rapid heart rate or chills.

What Are Night Sweats?

Night sweats are hot flashes that cause sweating at night. They can be extremely uncomfortable and interfere with sleep. You may wake up drenched in sweat — sometimes to the point where you will have to get up and change your nightwear and even your sheets.

What Is Periomenopause?

  • Perimenopause is the time of transition from when you stop having your period to when you enter menopause. During this period of time your ovaries produce less estrogen.
  • Periomenopause can start several years before actual menopause and can even start in your 30s or 20s — especially if you are going through fertility treatment. This means you may experience hot flashes years before your menstrual cycle stops naturally.

What Causes Hot Flashes?

According to Western Medicine:

  • An inevitable part of menopause and perimenopause
  • As your estrogen drops, the part of your brain which regulates your body temperature (the hypothalamus) can begin to malfunction, which causes your body to overheat.
  • Eating disorders
  • Genetic disorders
  • The exact reason is unknown

 

According to Eastern Medicine:

  • Your kidneys (and the meridian system associated with the kidney) is depleted. This can be due to a hectic, high stress lifestyle.
  • Blood deficiency.
  • Uprising deficiency heat.

Fertility Drugs and Hot Flashes

Hot flashes can be caused by hormones, even when they’re not related to perimenopause or menopause. Oral or injected fertility drugs are still the main Western treatment for women who have issues with ovulation. These include Clomid and Serophene (brand names for clomiphene citrate).

Can you guess what one of the side effects of these treatments can be? You got it — hot flashes!

What Is The Solution For Hot Flashes?

According to Western Medicine:

According to Western Medicine, hot flashes cannot be prevented altogether unless you take hormone replacement treatment (HRT). However, HRT is not suitable for all women, so be advised by your doctor.

Health care practitioners will treat with one of the following:

  • Prescription Drug Treatments
    • Low-dose depression drugs like fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), or venlafaxine (Effexor)
    • Clonidine, a blood pressure medication
    • Gabapentin, an anti-seizure drug
    • Brisdelle, a paroxetine formula specifically for hot flashes
    • Duavee, a conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene formula
  • Non-prescription Treatments
    • B Complex
    • Vitamin E
    • Ibuprofen

 

According to Eastern Medicine:

  • Eastern Medicine recognizes that every woman is unique, and so each woman is diagnosed and treated as an individual — not a statistic.
  • There is also a different approach with the focus on prevention and being proactive, rather than reactive.
    • For example, if a TCM practitioner sees a young woman who is showing the first signs of a Kidney Deficiency, they recognize that if the deficiency is not dealt with now, then she may find menopause difficult later on. As a result, the issue is resolved early, so that any long term effects are avoided.
  • Acupuncture and a healthy diet are also supplementary treatments.

 

Nutrition is Key!

  • Diet is a basic principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • In the U.S. it is estimated that 75% of all health problems are related to dietary intake.
  • Two of the leading causes of death are heart attacks and stroke — both closely linked to a poor diet.

Look for our Food Therapy blog articles for more info on this.

Phytoestrogens Are You Friends!

 

What is a phytoestrogen?

A phytoestrogen is an estrogen found in certain natural foods. It is considered a weak estrogen, which is good because strong estrogens are actually harmful to the body. They can be found in estrogen replacement therapies, such as HRT, as well as in our environment. Foods Rich In Phytoestrogens:

  • Oats
  • Beans
  • Barley
  • Lentils
  • Yams
  • Brown Rice, Wild Rice
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Mint

If you eat foods that are rich in Phytoestrogens, then the weak plant estrogen will bind to the estrogen receptors in your body. This displaces the strong estrogens which your body then expels. This means Phytoestrogens = one of the best natural remedies for hot flashes!

Radiant Wonder & Phytoestrogens

At Radiant Wonder, we use herbs rich in phytoestrogens as one method of treating hot flashes. Remember, our herbs are not medicine, but are actually FOOD for your body!

These herbs include:

  • Dong quai
  • Red clover
  • Alfalfa
  • Licorice
  • Korean ginseng
  • Wild American ginseng
  • Kudzu root